Naropa University Oakland

Master of Liberal Arts Program in Creation Spirituality


Perspectives from Ecofeminism, Ecopsychology and Cosmology


CSP 636A, SEMINAR           Number of Credit Units: 2, 10 weeks.


Instructors: Marlene De Nardo & Drew Dellinger; Phone number: 510-835-4827 ext 15

Email address:  [email protected] ; [email protected]


Class Schedule: Fall 2004 Semester, 9:30am-12:00pm, Tuesdays


Course Description: This course will explore our relationship with spirit and the divine through deepened engagement with the natural world.

We will look to the disciplines of Ecofeminism, Ecopsychology and Cosmology for a better understanding of our relationship with the natural world and for ways to deepen and to heal our relationship with the Earth community. Our intention is to promote sustainable, just and mutually enhancing relationships among humans and with the more-than-human world.


Focus:  Given that we see ourselves as part of the Planet, how do we humans ‘planet’?


Course Objectives:

·                     to deepen our relationship and engagement with the Earth community and to experience the natural world as teacher and spiritual guide:

·                     to explore the basic contours of the scientific understanding of the universe (cosmology ) and to examine the role of worldviews in our ecological crises;

·                     to recognize the mutuality between psyche and earth, the personal and planetary and to awaken to our “ecological-relational” self;

·                     to work toward a sustainable culture by developing skills for engaging in mutually enhancing, inclusive and just  relationships with all beings/species;

·                     to reclaim and awaken to the Feminine Principle and develop an awareness of gender justice.


Course Requirements: 

1.                                           Punctual class attendance, participation and completion of assignments & readings.  (10%)

2.                                           “The Great Work” assignment and presentation. (20%)

3.                                           Eco-practicum: 1 page journal response to earth-centered practicum. (20%)

4.                                           Eco-study: research an area of study and book/bibliography to present to the class. (30%)

5.                                           Final paper (5-7 pages) relating Eco-study to seminar objectives. (20%)


Required readings:


The Great Work, Thomas Berry

The Legacy of Luna, Julia Butterfly Hill

Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism & Deep Ecology, Judi Bari (booklet available from Instructors)

Anthologies (selected articles):

            Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Eco-Feminism, Irene Diamond & Gloria Orenstein

            Eco-Psychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, T. Roszak, M. Gomes, A. Kanner

Other articles (available from Instructors).


Ecospirituality, Fall, 2004                                                                     page 2

Marlene De Nardo, Drew Dellinger

                                                COURSE OUTLINE



September 7, 2004: Eco-spirituality : The Spirituality of the Earth Community.

                        What is the Earth’s spirituality?   How do we find faith in a dying culture?

                        Read: The Great Work, Thomas Berry, pages 1-47, Intro, chapters 1-4.



September 14, 2004: Ecospirituality: The Great Work and visionary solutions.

                        Read: The Great Work, Thomas Berry, pages 48-116. chapters 5-10.

                        “The Great Work” assignment for completion of Berry’s book.


September 21, 2002: The Sense of the Sacred. Recovering the mystical tradition

                                 What is sacred about the universe? Where is the sacred?

                        Read: The Legacy of Luna, Julia Butterfly Hill (entire book)


September 28, 2004: Ecofeminism: Reclaiming the Feminine Principle

                        Read: Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, Linda  Diamond and Gloria Orenstein, tba



October 5, 2004:  Ecofeminism: Developing an awareness of Gender Justice

                        Read: Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism, Linda Diamond and Gloria Orenstein, tba


October 12, 2004: No class --  attendance at Bioneers Conference.


October 15-17: BIONEERS CONFERENCE 2003   (Highly recommended)

“Revolution from the Heart of Nature”, Main Center, San Rafael, CA. email: [email protected]  Phone: 505-986-0366

Toll free: 877-246-6337 Fax 505-986-1644       Fax: 505-986-1644



October 19, 2004:  Bioregionalism and Earth Restoration. The Earth Charter.

                        Can humans relate with other species, and, “think like a mountain”?

                        Read: “The Earth Charter”; “The Declaration of Interdependence”.   

                                                Selected articles: Thinking Like a Mountain, Macy, Seed


October 26-30, 2004:   STUDY WEEK .    No class.







Course Outline (continued)                                                       page 3

De Nardo & Dellinger, Instructors




November 2, 2004: Deep Ecology and Systems View of the World.

                      The post-corporate world and species maturity.    Is there life after 


                     Read:  “ Revolutionary Ecology: Biocentrism and Deep Ecology”, Judi Bari

                                Coming Back to Life”, J. Macy, chapter 3 (Xeroxed)


                     Student presentations: “The Great Work”           



November 9, 2004: Ecopsychology:  Healing our society, culture and our psyches.

                            Is there a connection between spiritual practice and social activism?

                            What is well being? Health? “When the Earth Hurts, who Responds?”

                           Read: Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, Theodore    

                                    Roszak, Mary Gomes, Allen Kanner, editors. tba


November 16, 2004: Ecopsychology. Healing the web of life.

                         Animals as teachers and spiritual directors.

                         What are the Dolphins Saying?  Council of all Beings. 

                        Read: Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind,  Roszak, et al, tba

                         Selected articles. 


November 23, 2004:  HOLIDAY: THANKSGIVING WEEK           


November 30, 2004: The Sacred Earth – Partnership or Perish – Keeping Faith.

                        Treasures for the road: Student presentations.


December 7, 2004:  Final Paper due.




“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? This idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can we buy them?”

(Attributed to Chief Seattle)


                “I call heaven and earth to record this day to your account, that I have set before you

life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed shall live.”

                                                                                                                                (Deuteronomy, 30,19)








Recommended Texts:


Coming Back To Life: Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World, Joanna Macy and Molly Brown


World as Lover, World as Self, Joanna Macy


Thinking Like a Mountain, J. Macy, John Seed, et al


Dharma Gaia, A Harvest of Essays in Buddhism and Ecology, Allan Badiner, editor


Silent Spring, Rachel Carson                                


Thinking Like a Mountain, John Seed, Joanna Macy, et al  


All Our Relations, Winnona La Duke                                                 


Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her, Susan Griffin


The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram


Radical Ecology: The Search for a Livable World, Carolyn Merchant


Agriculture: Spiritual Foundations for the Renewal of Agriculture, Rudolf Steiner


Defending Mother Earth: Native American Perspectives on Environmental Justice, Jace Weaver, Editor


The Lost Gospel of the Earth, A Call for Renewing Nature, Spirit and Politics, Tom Hayden  


The Sacred Balance, Rediscovering Our Place in Nature, David Suzuki


Communities Directory: A Guide to Intentional Communities & Cooperative Living


The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability, Paul Hawken


The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism, David C. Korten


When Corporations Ruled the World, D. Korten


Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from the Bioneers, Kenny Ausubel


Buddha’s Nature; A Practical Guide to Discovering your Place in the Cosmos, Wes Nisker


Longing for Running Waters, Ivone Gebara


The Attentive Heart, Conversations with Trees,  Stephanie Kaza


Earth, Sky, Gods & Mortals, Developing an Ecological Spirituality, Jay Mc Daniel


The Dream of the Earth, Thomas Berry


The Universe Story, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme


Earthcare, Women and Environment, Carolyn Merchant


Ecology and Liberation, Leonardo Boff


Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, Leonardo Boff


Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development, Vandana Shiva


Ecofeminism, Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva


Women, The Earth, The Divine, Eleanor Rae


Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, Starhawk


Truth or Dare, Starhawk


Green Politics: The Global Promise, Charlene Spretnak


My Name is Chellis & I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization, Chellis Glendinning


The Voice of the Earth, Theodore Roszak


Earth Wisdom, Dolores LaChapelle


Sacred Land, Sacred Sex, Rapture of the Deep, Dolores LaChapelle


Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, M. Wachernagel & William Rees




Naropa University-Oakland will provide accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  To request an accommodation, or to discuss any learning needs you may have, contact the Dean of Students, (510) 835-4827 ext 15.